We are rapidly approaching the All-Star break as the NBA season passes the midway point.. We continue our swing through the Association, checking in on each Division. Who is having a break out season? What rookies are fantasy worthy? Who may be on the block and possibly moved by the trade deadline? We continue with the Central Division.
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Chicago Bulls- Mostly good news from the Windy City, but how is this club treading the .500 mark in home games so far? The Bulls are beating up on the rest of the Eastern Conference, which is good news, but even better is Derek Rose preparing to return from his severe knee injury. Fan favorite Kirk Hinrich has been playing very well of late and will allow Rose to ease back into the rotation. Carlos Boozer is playing his best ball since the Utah days and Joakim Noah is a well deserved All-Star reserve.
Indiana Pacers- Paul George has carried the scoring load in Danny Granger's absence and the Pacers will soon have both available. David West has found the fountain of youth and is averaging a terrific 17 points and 8 rebounds per game at the four. Indiana is playing some of the best defense in the Association, thanks in large part to Roy Hibbert. George Hill is without a doubt one of the most underrated point guards in the game, but fantasy owners need more than five assists per contest.
Milwaukee Bucks- "Ersanity" is finally delivering, freed from Scott Skiles doghouse. I actually cut Ersan Ilyasova in early December, but picked him back up the following week knowing that eventually he would deliver. Over his last four games, the stretch four is averaging 25 points and a dozen rebounds, while also contributing in assists and nailing three pointers. Larry Sanders is a block shot machine and having a breakout season. Brandon Jennings is a keeper, but Monta Ellis could be on the move next month.
Detroit Pistons- Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe are the core of the franchise and have been getting the heavy minutes they deserve. But when will Andre Drummond get the additional minutes he has earned? Another one of my fantasy prized possessions, I have carried him season long and awaiting the trade of Jason Maxiell. Drummond's numbers based on 48 minutes? 18+ points, 18+ rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Give me 36 minutes and I'll call it a day!
Cleveland Cavaliers- Is Kyrie Irving already the best point guard in the NBA? He missed 11 games due to injury, but on the season, more than 24 points per game, adding 5.5 assists. Irving is averaging almost 27 per game in January and more than 35 per in three games this week. The loss of Anderson Varejao for the season and his 14.4 rebounds per game was cripping not only to the Cavs, but especially fantasy owners. Power forward Tristan Thompson has really stepped up in his absence and is a fantasy must have!
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Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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